US Scientology critic free in Canada

About time

Scientology critic Keith Henson has been released from a Canadian jail where he'd been detained since 28 May on suspicion that he gave incomplete information to Immigration when he entered the country.

Henson, who's given the CoS a good deal of perfectly legal grief on Usenet, was inexplicably convicted of interfering with a religion by a California court on 26 April.

He fled to Canada hoping to file for status as a political refugee, only to be swept up by Immigration police weeks later. The Feds were acting on a tip which his supporters assume was made by someone in the CoS hierarchy, as the arresting officers were kitted out as if preparing for combat with band of armed mercenaries.

The arrest warrant was based on Henson's alleged failure to disclose an outstanding fugitive warrant from California when he entered Canada on 12 May.

However, our sources say that the California warrant was issued subsequent to his entry to Canada, so he could not possibly have reported it at the time.

Apparently the Canadian officials have finally sorted this out to their satisfaction. Henson was released Friday, and his application for refugee status has been accepted. We're told that a decision might take as long as two years, so it would seem he'll be able to breathe easy for a bit -- assuming no one goes out of their way to make his life difficult, that is. ®

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Updates on Henson's status

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